MetroTalk

There’s no official Google Voice application for Windows Phone, but there’s a third party application that works really well. It’s called MetroTalk. Support for the application ends in May, 2014, but the good news is that the app will remain available and fully functional until then. Call us surprised when an update for MetroTalk has just appeared at the Windows Phone Store. It brings a couple of bug fixes and an update to offline calling.

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Google just can’t seem to make friends with Windows Phone. The latest crackdown will come in May 2014 when the search giant begins to enforce its terms-of-service for its Google Voice service, barring third-party companies from making apps.

Google Voice, which used to be Grand Central before it was bought, is a one-number-service that allows users to have a single phone number to ring all of their phones—landline or cellular. It also allows users to protect their real number by giving out their Google Voice digits instead as well as send “free” text messages, since the service utilizes data.

Up until recently, third party developers could tap into the service, releasing their own apps. On Android or iOS, the demand for such solutions is quite low due to both platforms having official options for users. However, since Google shuns everything that is Windows Phone, there is no official Google Voice app for Microsoft’s OS. As a result, developers have created solutions, including the top-rated MetroTalk app to fill in the gap.

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Before Google snatched them up, there was a cool little company called Grand Central. Grand Central’s idea, way back in 2007, was to have one phone number to call all of your phones, regardless if they were landlines or cellular. In fact, you could configure it so specific users could be routed to specific phones e.g. the wife would ring all phones, while your boss would ring none (or vice versa).  Plus, you never have to give out your real phone numbers—just the Google Voice one.

That’s why we’re big fans of MetroTalk. As you may have noticed, we have quite a few Windows Phones laying around on various carriers. MetroTalk is the solution for the Windows Phone user that Google won’t give. It allows you to make calls from your Google Voice number in addition to getting free SMS messaging (since it uses data to transmit). It’s a nifty app that has seen continued development since early 2012.

This week, version 3.4 went live and was followed by two quick patch updates. We’ll tell you what’s new.

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The past few months we’ve seen official apps slowly trickle into the Windows Phone Store. And for those services (cough YouTube, cough Instagram) that don’t provide an official app, third party developers have stepped in to provide incredible applications.

Sometimes doing a job so good it’s hard to see what companies can do better (Metrotube is a great example of this). Unfortunately, most apps require workarounds to function properly and can easily be broken by a change server side to all these apps. Right now users might experience some issues with MetroTalk and GVoice because of some authentication issues.

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Nearly three weeks ago we gave you a sneak peek at the upcoming version 3.0 update for MetroTalk--the dedicated Google Voice app. That update is now live and joins all the other new Windows Phone 8 optimized apps to hit the Store.

The new version has brought with it numerous fixes and various new features, many of which are optimized for Windows Phone 8 users. Over the last few weeks, we’ve had no issues with the app and it’s been running like a champ on our Lumia 920. In short, if you use Google Voice and you're on Windows Phone, you need this.

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For those of us stuck with multiple phone numbers or who like free SMS messaging, Google Voice is a pretty great service (we do wish Microsoft had their own version though). Google of course can’t be bothered with making a Windows Phone client so instead we have to rely on our cadre of great third party app developers.

MetroTalk is one of those apps for Google Voice and we managed to spend some time with the upcoming Windows Phone 8 version. Windows Phone 8 messaging apps will benefit the most from the new APIs offered to developers and consumers will get a much better experience—faster apps, better notifications and many more options.

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MetroTalk for Windows Phone v2.5

If you use Google Voice because like us, you have multiple phone numbers or you just like the free data-driven SMS feature, then you should check out MetroTalk for Windows Phone.

The app started off decent enough when it was first launched months ago but it has quickly ramped up to be one of the best, most fully featured Google Talk clients for Windows Phone—that’s specially good since Google doesn’t seem interested in supporting their own services.

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